Welcome to GemFest 2012

The Mac platform boasts an abundance of free and low-cost software—some of it good, some of it great, and a good amount of it, well, understandably inexpensive. But thanks to the increasing popularity of the Mac platform, along with the convenience of the Mac App Store, it seems we’ve never had so many low-cost apps to choose from. Here at Macworld, we call the ones that give you great functionality for a low price Mac Gems.

We review a couple of these products each week here on the Mac Gems Weblog, but there’s just too much good stuff out there to cover at that rate. So once a year my fellow editors, along with a number of Macworld contributors, pitch in on a Gems-review marathon. The result is our annual summer Gems event.

Today is the start of this year's event, GemFest 2012 (also known as the Summer of Gems). Starting today and continuing through mid-August, we'll review a new Gem every weekday. As with the software we normally cover in Mac Gems, some of the programs will be delightfully simple, while others will be more complex. Some will be specialized, others programs everyone should find useful. Whatever the case may be, each product will earn the Mac Gems label.

Some of the software we'll review for GemFest 2012 will also be included in a special Mac Gems feature in the September 2012 print issue of Macworld—pick up a copy if you'd like to see a bunch of them all in one place. And don't forget to browse the Mac Gems Weblog to read past Gems reviews. My regular Gems column will resume in late August.

Want to stay up to date with the latest Gems? Sign up for the Mac Gems newsletter for a weekly e-mail summary of Gems reviews sent directly to your inbox. You can also follow MacGems on Twitter.

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